Wednesday, September 9, 2015

tuna curry pasta salad

What do you do with leftover cooked pasta? I had a brilliant brainzap!

Open some tuna cans and get creative...

You'll need:
  • about 4 cups cooked pasta (I used Thai rice noodles)
  • 2 cans tuna (70 g or 2.5 ounces each), drained
  • 1/4 c. raisins
  • 1/4 c. chopped walnuts
  • 1 t. curry powder
  • 1/2 t. turmeric
  • about 1/2 c. mayo, or just enough to moisten
  • 1/4 t. sea salt
  • 1 t. freshly grated ginger
Do this:

Put it all in a large bowl and mix together. That's it.

Then fridge it till you're ready (we had it the next day for lunch with a little chopped green onion sprinkled on top, with carrots, tomatoes, cukes, and pastrami on the side).

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

dairy-free ice-cream-maker-free bananaberry ice cream

For the life of me, I can't find where I got this recipe. Forgive me if it's from your blog, but I have absolutely no clue about its origin. I wrote it down some time ago and finally got around to making it.

Why didn't I do this before?

You'll need:
  • 2 bananas, frozen and sliced
  • 1/2 cup frozen berries
  • 2 T. almond milk
  • 1/2 t. vanilla
Do this:

Blend the berries and bananas in a food processor till slushy, then add the milk and vanilla in and swirl again till it's smooth and creamy.

Then dig in! I ate it while reading To Kill a Mockingbird

I doubled this recipe for four people, but we had leftovers and I froze a couple small portions for the Beans, which they consumed enthusiastically after a long bike ride the next afternoon.

Friday, August 14, 2015

zingy gluten- and dairy-free apricot crumble

More oven usage! Yippee! I'm so excited to have my oven up and going and working for me. It's been a long time since I had one.

This was last night's just desserts.

You'll need:
  • 1 15-oz. (425 g) can of apricots (save the juice!), or fresh if you have them
  • lemon juice, for sprinkling
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 c. almond flour
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1/8 t. nutmeg
  • 3 T. Okinawan black sugar (or regular brown)
  • 4 T. melted coconut oil
  • 1/8 t. salt
  • 3 T. chopped crystallized ginger
Do this:

Drain your apricots, reserving the liquid. Chop the apricots into bite-sized pieces, and lay in the bottom of a pie plate or other oven-proof dish. Sprinkle a little lemon juice over the top to add zing!

For the topping, add your oats, almond flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, black (or brown) sugar, salt, and crystallized ginger to a bowl, stirring till mixed. Then drizzle over the melted coconut oil and squish it in with your fingers or the mixing spoon.

Sprinkle the topping over the apricots, then bake at 180 C/350 F for about 30 minutes, till the topping is crispy and a wee bit browned and the apricots are bubbly and luscious. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

simple savoury summer "parfaits"

This is so quick, easy, and refreshing for summer. Takes about two minutes to put together, tops. An easy side to go with a main dish of hot weather. (If you eat dairy, some chopped mozzarella would be a superb addition, methinks.)

Layer sliced cucumbers, chopped tomatoes, and fresh basil in a glass, sprinkling a tiny bit of sea salt on each layer as you go. Then whisk a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil with a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and a pinch of sea salt, then pour over a couple of cups.

I like to stripe-ify my cukes with a veggie peeler before slicing. More fun that way!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

natural pain management (with help from my kitchen, of course)

At the suggestion of my friend Julie, I'm jotting down a few ways that we naturally manage pain round these parts. My sister and I were hit by a drunk driver in a hit-and-run car accident when I was eighteen, and I've been dealing with neck and back pain ever since. My husband Stephen also deals with pain as he sits at a desk and works on a computer for a crazy number of hours every day. Some of these suggestions came out of his research and some were recommended to us.
  • Walking. We try to do this as often as possible, and up and over mountains is even better.
  • Using our trampoline (or rebounding, as it's now called). We've got a mini one, and I do at least 500 jumps at one time, making up different crazy ways to dance, jump, and swing my arms. It really does bring me joy!
  • Pete Egoscue's book and/or CD called Pain Free. We couldn't do without our maintenance routine, and when we have specific pain (neck, back, shoulder, knee, etc.), there's a chapter for each part of the body and stretches specific to those areas.
  • Boswellia and curcumin: natural herbal anti-inflammatories that work like magic. Curcumin is also called turmeric, so make lots of curry and throw tons of that great stuff in there.
  • Gelatin: this stuff is wondrous. One of our sons has ligament laxity, and as a result of taking gelatin every day, he's now really strong and his ligament laxity seems nonexistent. No more wobbly body for him. Also, I used to wake up during the night, hardly able to move or turn over because of my lower back pain. After we started taking gelatin, I haven't had this problem at all. I heat up a half a mug of veggie/fruit juice (I actually just use water for me) and dissolve a packet with 5 grams of gelatin in each one at breakfast time, just once a day. You can put gelatin in when you're cooking your rice or a stew, or you could actually make some homemade jello with fruit juice.
  • Seven-minute workout: this workout right here. It's grand! (No gym required.)
  • Swimming and sitting in Japanese hot tubs work great, too, when you can indulge.
Don't be a pain! Be pain free, using some of these low-cost and low-maintenance solutions. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

oven's maiden voyage: roasted taters

What could be better than digging potatoes yourself and then blessing them with a roasting in your new oven?
Once we finally figured out how to get our oven off "demo" mode (it had been the floor model so it was on that special non-cooking mode--we had to call the appliance shop and they didn't know either, then had to research and call us back), we could then roast those taters

Here we are digging them up just a week ago in the mountains of Kanazawa:
Simple, really: dig and cook.

You'll need:
  • scrubbed and chopped potatoes
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
Do this:

Every oven is different, but I tossed our taters with olive oil and chunky sea salt, then roasted them at 200 C/400 F for about 30 minutes, then turned up the volume to 230 C/450 F for another 13 minutes, and finally, I turned on the grill function for an extra 5 minutes to brown them a bit.

Such fresh-tasting taters, with no mealiness or dryness. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

the creamiest goatmeal

We call it goatmeal round these parts, and here's how I make it.

You'll need:
  • 1 cup oatmeal (I think mine is the quick-cooking variety)
  • 2 cups milk (I use 1 c. soy milk and 1 c. almond milk, but you're welcome to use dairy, or even goat's milk!)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 c. dried cranberries
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 t. nutmeg
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. ground ginger
  • 1/4 t. vanilla extract
  • for topping: coconut oil and honey
Do this:

Cook your oatmeal according to the package directions. I throw everything except for the toppings in the pot at the beginning, because I like my cranberries plump.

After it's all creamy and hot and ready, pour a little melted coconut oil and honey on each bowlful. I served ours with boiled eggs, Japanese in-season white peaches, and some sausages.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

flippin' bacon

What flips your bacon? After using cooking chopsticks for forever, I forgot that I used to utilize tongs. How do you turn yours?

In other news, I'm SO excited to start baking again: we bought an oven! I think one of the first new recipes I'll try is this Paleo pie crust from Elana's Pantry. It just sounds so good to me right now.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

matcha butter

Oooooh, yeah: Mrs. Yasue's homegrown strawberries made into her homemade jam, and matcha butter made by moi. All slathered on rice-flour bread rolls that I can buy frozen from a local restaurant. To make matcha butter, just soften some unsalted butter and blend in some sifted matcha powder. (Idea from the cookbook New Tastes in Green Tea by Mutsuko Tokunaga.)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

mitsuya-cider sweet-and-sour meatballs

What do you do when the sushi chef's wife gives you Mitsuya Cider and you don't normally drink soda? Get creative! (Mitsuya Cider is a non-alcoholic Japanese fizzy drink that tastes a bit like Sprite, but different, too.)

Well, that bottle morphed into amazing sweet-and-sour meatballs, if you can believe it.

You'll need:
  • 450 grams (about 1 pound) ground meat (I used a Japanese mixture of pork and beef)
  • 1/4 c. almond flour (or binding flour of choice)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 t. each powdered ginger, garlic powder, and onion powder
  • 1/4 c. ketchup
  • 1/8 c. apple cider vinegar (I use organic with mother--very flavorful)
  • 1 T. Dijon mustard
  • more pepper
  • 1/2 t. each ginger and onion powders
  • 1/2 c. Mitsuya Cider (or Sprite or ginger ale)
Do this:

To make the meatballs, mix the meat, almond flour, salt and pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon each powdered ginger, garlic powder, and onion powder in a bowl, then form into balls.

For the sauce, in a separate bowl stir the ketchup, vinegar, mustard, pepper, 1/2 teaspoon each powdered ginger and onion powder, and Mitsuya Cider.

Cook the meatballs in a frying pan, turning after a little while to brown on both sides. When the meatballs are cooked through, add the sauce ingredients and simmer gently till warmed through. Lovely over rice with some avocado on the side.

Friday, June 12, 2015

gingery-coconut banana dessert

Well, folks, this was completely yum. A Mamatouille original!
It's basically bananas, raisins, and coconut milk, but I added a few extra je ne sais quois touches.

You'll need:
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 T. coconut oil
  • 1/4 c. raisins
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. nutmeg
  • 1 T. chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1 T. chopped candied orange peel
  • 1 T. rum
Do this:

Chop your bananas and throw them in a frying pan with the raisins and coconut oil. Heat gently over low-medium flame till the raisins are a bit plump. Add the cinnamon and nutmeg. In the microwave, heat the chopped crystallized ginger and candied orange peel in the rum for about thirty seconds.

Add the ginger and orange into the pan, and then pour in the coconut milk, heating till warmed through.

Enjoy in small bowls with your favorite peeps.

Friday, May 22, 2015

sweet-and-spicy three-bean salad

We had some friends visiting from Seattle, and one of them is vegan. I love beans anyway, so I didn't mind cooking a bit differently for a few days.

This dish involves no cooking whatsoever, though, just some chopping and mixing. Grab some canned chickpeas and kidney beans (or your beans of choice--a mix of colors is pleasant), and some freshly cooked or frozen chopped green beans.

I used Okinawan "black sugar" for the sweetener, and a chopped dried chili pepper for the heat. Mmmm!

You'll need:
  • 2 cans (about 400 g each) of different colored beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup chopped cooked green beans (can be frozen)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions (can be frozen)
  • 1/4 cup diced sweet peppers (I used a combination of red and yellow)
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1/4 c. vinegar
  • about 1-2 T. sugar
  • about 1 t. salt
  • about 1/4 t. pepper
  • one dried chili pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
Do this:

Toss the beans, onions, chili pepper, and sweet peppers into a bowl. In a measuring cup, mix the liquid ingredients, sugar, salt, and pepper, then stir into the beans. Refrigerate all day or overnight.

The longer you let it soak in the cool tub, the better.

This was the first time I've added heat, and it was perfect. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

gluten-free blueberry-yuzu mug muffins

I honestly can't remember now where I got the idea to make mug muffins in the first place, but somewhere online--um, do you know? {Nobody knows.}

So anyway, I've been riffing on microwave mug muffins in my ovenless kitchen for many months now.

And yuzu fruit is my favorite lately--I use it on fish, in sauteed greens, in desserts. You name it, it's got yuzu in it. (My preciouses.)

You'll need:
  • a greased mug
  • a beaten egg
  • 3 T. almond flour
  • 1/4 t. each cinnamon and powdered ginger
  • a dash of nutmeg
  • 1 T. melted butter
  • a spoon of honey and maybe a sprinkle of dehydrated 100% maple syrup flakes, if you have a Canadian friend who shares (luckily I do)
  • a splash of vanilla extract
  • a pinch each of salt and baking powder
  • 1 t. yuzu juice
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
Do this:

Using a wire whisk, beat all the ingredients together, then stir in the blueberries at the end with a spoon. 

Microwave a couple of minutes, and presto! Pour on your favorite kind of milk (I use soy or almond), then spoon into your gob. Yummeroony. Blueberries and citrus just go crazy together.

miso potatoes

Leftover mashed taters? A dollop of miso mixed through is umami heaven.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

crispy gluten-free yuzu salmon burgers

I'm always working on perfecting my salmon burgers, but I never use a recipe! This is a conjured crispy-outside-and-citrusy-salmony-inside burger.

There were three of us eating these, and I also made homemade sweet potato and white potato mash to eat alongside. This recipe is easily doubled or tripled as needed.

You'll need:
  • 1 (180-g) can bone-in salmon (break up the salmon and crush the bones with your fingers)
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/4 - 1/2 C. almond flour, as needed for binding
  • 1 T. yuzu juice
  • 2 T. Japanese mayo (they use rice vinegar, which adds a nice tang)
  • 1/2 t. onion powder
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • 1/2 t. coarse salt
  • 1/4 t. coarse black pepper
  • 1 t. dried parsley
  • 1/8 C. chopped green onion (can use frozen straight from the freezer)
  • rice breadcrumbs or cornmeal for coating the burgers
  • olive oil for frying
Do this:

Mix it all up nice and easy in a glass mixing bowl, or whatever you've got, then form into patties and roll in your rice breadcrumbs or your cornmeal. Fry over medium heat in a frying pan until crispy and brown on each side.

Enjoy with some ketchup and your two favorite Beans. Beware: they'll want seconds!